“You know what I love? A series that just gets better and better as it goes along. Cold Magic had a rocky start, and took a couple hundred pages before I really started enjoying it. Cold Fire caught my interest right away, amping up to a finale that stomped on my heart and made me need to read...”see full review » see other reviews »
“In parts I wanted to put the book down and walk away. Then all of a sudden it would be so good that I couldn't stop reading. The pace was very off for me. It isn't that I do not like the characters or am not interested in the arc of the story, it is simply that the book needs a really good editor to keep it on track! ”Colorado_Cafe wrote this review Sunday, October 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“You know what I love? A series that just gets better and better as it goes along. Cold Magic had a rocky start, and took a couple hundred pages before I really started enjoying it. Cold Fire caught my interest right away, amping up to a finale that stomped on my heart and made me need to read book three posthaste. The Spiritwalker Trilogy boasts one of my favorite romances, and I'm going to need to fangirl about the feels.
Know that there's totally a lot more going on in Cold Fire than romance, but that I'm mostly going to blabber on about that, because, being totally honest here, THAT is what I care about most. BY FAR. I make no secret of the fact that I burn for hate to love romance arcs, and this one is SO well done. Gah. There's a very Pride & Prejudice sort of emotional arc that just makes me swoon. When they meet, Vai is dismissive of Catherine, which is all sorts of awkward, since they're forced to marry at the beginning of the first book. However, you find out that he's just sort of awkward and makes disdainful faces when he's uncomfortable, but that he actually really cares for her. Cat, on the other hand, does not forgive or trust easily, so she has little interest in Vai for most of Cold Magic.
In Cold Fire, my ship finally takes sail, and, oh my, was it ever glorious. There's also a sort of vaguely Tamora Pierce-ian element to the romance, wherein Cat has a dalliance with someone else. Even though I ship them so hard, I loved this, because in some ways it was needful. There's just something so freeing about the heroine making her own choices and being more informed. And, yes, technically it was adultery, but they were forced to wed, so that doesn't bother me in this instance.
Once Vai and Cat are together again, the sexual tension is something fierce. They have crazy amounts of chemistry, and Vai is being such a freaking sweetheart. He KNOWS she hooked up with someone else, and he's still so understanding even though she's technically his wife. He keeps feeding her all of this delicious fruit, and omg it's so hot I can't even. Plus, these two and their banter. Oy, it's fantastic. She's under a bit of a curse thing where she's not allowed to impart certain information, so she has to respond to certain questions with questions, which sort of becomes a flirty banter thing for them and I love it so much. Yes, I do realize I'm a bit incoherent, but GOD I LOVE THEM. Vai loves her for her spirit and strength and the fact that she can be so damn stubborn, and just LOVE.
Obviously, I would rate the romance a full five glorious stars, but, despite those feels, I still had to rate the book a four overall, because I feel like Elliott's still getting a hang of the pacing and plotting. Parts of the book do drag (like when Vai and Cat are not together duh), and it feels like not all that much is actually happening for a lot of the book. The plotting really does pick up towards the end, when Elliott decides to wreak havoc on my emotional state, but the rest felt like a really long way to get there, not that it was not worth it for Vai and Cat.
The world herein is quite lush, but I still don't entirely understand its underpinnings, though I vaguely remember it was some sort of alternate history spun off from Roman times, I think. What I love is how diverse the characters are, many of them mixed race. There are a lot of messages about cultural sensitivity, which is great.
While I think this series has some drawbacks, for me, it's ONE HUNDRED PERCENT worth the slow moments for the epic ship of Cat and Vai. I am all kinds of glad that I sort of neglected to read this review copy for a shameful amount of time, because I would have HATED waiting for book three to come out, because THAT ENDING. ”
“Catherine is slightly less annoying in book 2, but for someone who has supposedly been trained as a spy since birth, she is really not very good at it. Vai really grew on me in this book and I am looking forward to book 3 mostly to see what happens to him.
I also think it is fun that Kate Elliot writes her own fanfiction. Don't miss the bonus chapter on her website.”
“Even better than the first book, Elliott's Spiritwalker trilogy has now taken on yet another trope of epic fantasy and retreated it. Not only do we have an epic fantasy heroine, we now have a visit to a foreign land wherein the natives aren't portrayed as culturally inferior to (Europe) the hero's home.
But a book isn't good simply because it refuses to make the genre's traditional mistakes. What I loved so much about this book was that it had the right amount of...perhaps "camp" is the wrong word, but let me explain. Epic fantasy is campy. It's a bit over the top, a bit ridiculous in the way that coincidences just keep coinciding, everyone is a bit more gaudy that people are. It's larger than life. And Elliott makes her characters embody that big-ness without ever losing control of them, the narrative or the reader's interest.
And, on that note, I am so glad to find a traditional epic fantasy that breaks with the problematic traditions of the genre and embraces what is good about it.”
“I loved this book was even better than the first one can't wait to read the third. Story takes you along different paths and is full of surprise.
“Stundtals fashinerande stundtals pratig. Flickbok”halaran wrote this review Wednesday, May 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Cold Fire" is first of all a cinematic read. I was delighted by the visual imagery Kate Elliot was able to invoke. What a unique author I found her to be in this particular area. It was if I could see her characters in clothing with their weaponry in their settings, vividly. It's a rare thing to experience such a talent. This is not only a good book, it's really fun to read. Kate Elliot is a stand out writer in this genre, in my opinion!
World-building and the time symbols here were so interesting. I often get lost in such genre when they aren't well configured, and it's easy for me to get bored when that happens. This book easily held my avid attention. Not only that, but I was smiling all the way with the way things were interwoven...worlds and human access to magical forces, Romanic calendar, Creole~Caribbean flavor, a post tramatic induced Iceage, steampunkish influence, and more. I just loved it! I didn't want to stop reading it.
Ms Elliot's characters are believable and beautiful "visually," which I can't emphasize enough. It was easy to fall in love with Cat's dark and dangerous ex-husband, too. He's just irresistible! And, Cat is the consummate strong heroine. She's a force to be reckoned with, but she's also womanly and caring on other counts. It's hard not to make her a favorite.
My readers often ask if a 2nd book in a trilogy can be read alone, or if one needs to read the original book first. I didn't read the first book. I found this one to be easily self contained with good references to the 1st book. That didn't stop me from wanting to read the other one, however. I will absolutely want to buy the 3rd book, too!
This is an author all ages over 12 would thoroughly enjoy reading. A book most satisfying in the genre. I can only highly recommend it. It's not hardcore fantasy/syfy. Another really great YA to Adult Crossover Fiction.
“It wasn't as good as the first book but I still loved it.”Oliviah wrote this review Monday, January 30, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Delightful worldbuilding. Zany characters further developed and even more fun than in Cold Magic. The setting moves from alternative Europe to alternative Barbados.”Lizzie N wrote this review Wednesday, December 28, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really liking this series more and more. I find the characters of Cat's 'family' extremely interesting. I'm sad that Rory didn't have as much of a role, but hopefully we'll be seeing more of him and more of Cat's sire. It was also interesting to see a different side of Vai but I hope he doesn't turn too soft and sappy by the end.”Silence wrote this review Thursday, December 22, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No